Israel has hit targets with the F-35, Israel Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin said today, making Israel the first country to use the jet in combat.

Israel says it has carried out scores of strikes in Syria against suspected Iranian emplacements or arms transfers to Hezbollah guerrillas in neighbouring Lebanon.

Local media further quoted Major-General Amikam Norkin as saying in a speech to the chiefs of 20 foreign air forces convening in Israel:

“We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East and have already attacked twice on two different fronts.”

Norkin also displayed a photograph of an Israeli F-35 overflying Beirut, local media said.
Work to produce air vehicle spares and endurance spares for Israel recently started in F-35 production facilities in the United States and United Kingdom.

According to a contract notice, Lockheed Martin was awarded $14m for ‘the procurement of initial air vehicle spares to include endurance spares packages to coincide with F-35 air vehicle deliveries in support of the government of Israel’.

The notice read:

“Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (24.4 percent); El Segundo, California (9.1 percent); Owego, New York (8.6 percent); Samlesbury, United Kingdom (7.2 percent); Cheltenham, United Kingdom (6.2 percent); Nashua, New Hampshire (5.8 percent); Torrance, California (5.5 percent); Orlando, Florida (4.9 percent); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (3.7 percent); San Diego, California (3.6 percent); Phoenix, Arizona (3.1 percent); Melbourne, Florida (3.1 percent); Irvine, California (2.5 percent); N. Amityville, New York (2.4 percent); Windsor Locks, Connecticut (2.2 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (2.2 percent); Papendrect, Netherlands (1.9 percent); Rolling Meadows, Illinois (1.8 percent); and Alpharetta, Georgia (1.8 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2021.”

Israel is currently building the infrastructure needed to accommodate F-35s, including hardened aircraft shelters, underground pens, and maintenance facilities. In addition, the IAF has ordered 30 M-346 trainer jets to train F-35 pilots.

Construction of a manufacturing facility to produce wings under license for the F-35 was completed by mid-2014. The site is to produce a total of 811 wing pairs. Initial orders for the F-35 will be for 20 planes, with a total of 75 intended.

The first customised F-35I test platform is expected to be delivered to Israel by 2020. Former Israel Air Force chief Maj.-Gen Amir Eshel has called the F-35 “game changing” saying that Israel gathered new intelligence during a single flight by the F-35 early 2017 that other reconnaissance and intelligence gathering systems would take weeks to gather.

The IAF declared the first batch of F-35s operational in December 2017.

61
Leave a Reply

avatar
14 Comment threads
47 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
24 Comment authors
ISRAEL HOSTS MEETING FOR AIR FORCE CHIEFS OF OVER 20 NATIONS | Steven M CollinsSoleSurvivorElliottChrisRob Collinson Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
BB85
Guest
BB85

They certainly don’t faff about with years of repetitive testing.
Does it take off check, Does it land check, does it launch missiles check, did they hit their intended target check, its good to go.

Jack
Guest
Jack

I am glad Britain isn’t in the desperate geographical position as Israel. Surrounded by nations and terrorists who want them destroyed.
They have to throw their F35s into ops in a way no other nations need to.

Spyinthesky
Guest
Spyinthesky

Indeed and as long as it’s not over Israel they aren’t particularly concerned about any prospective casualties that may result from errors of whatever nature that might be ironed out through exhaustive testing of aircraft or crew.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Poor Israel eh ?

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

The UK is simply restricted by our anaemic purchasing rates. We are not going to have 48 aircraft in 4 squadrons available until 2023. After that who knows. Upto the mandarins in Whitehall. The Royal Navy wants at least another 48 F35Bs to equip our carriers. The RAF wants the cheaper but less adaptable F35A. Looks like the interservice rivalry and lack of governmental money to reinvigorate and equip our armed forces could be the undoing of the expensive regenerated carrier strike capability. Williamson just needs to stamp down on the RAF. Order another 48 F35Bs today and just end… Read more »

Helions
Guest
Helions

The IAF Must be doing a lot of flying with them since they’re burning through spares already…

Cheers!

BB85
Guest
BB85

According to the BBC there are rumors the IAF has been flying them since Jan last year. That would be mental.

Jonathan Davies
Guest
Jonathan Davies

Its 42 jets by 2023 not 48, and they will equip Squadrons one RAF and one FAA. The remaining aircraft are being flown by 17 Squadron the f35 operational evaluation unit and then there are 4 test aircraft.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

“The RAF wants the cheaper but less adaptable F35A”. “Williamson just needs to stamp down on the RAF”. F-35B STOVL has basing flexibility, no doubt …… but F-35A has greater range and payload. Arguably, it’s the F-35A which is more adaptable – and not its more performance limited cousin. It can fly further, and drop more stuff on the bad guys! That what you need from a bomber – plus it’s significantly cheaper, too ! We need the F-35B for carrier operations, but as most operational missions will still be from land bases – why needlessly accept the performance penalty… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

The greater payload thing is wrong…. in the British context.
The Lightning will carry ASRAAM, Meteor, SPEAR-3 & Paveway-4.
And whether it is the ‘A’ or the ‘B’, the number of ordnance carried is the same.

The larger weapons bay only counts if you have 2000lb JDAMs or the B-61 nuclear bomb.

Sceptical Richard
Guest
Sceptical Richard

Except for less fuel…

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Actually being able to land and take off where needed is the key to adaptability. From an expeditionary/intervention piont of view the B: 1)Is not chained to whatever 8000 foot runway you can get rights to us. 2) can work around any issues of flyover rights you may or may not sort out at the point you need to intervene. 2)Can be hidden in less exposed or obvious airfields or be on a carrier. 3) we can fit around 100 of the Bs on our carriers in extremis If we look at a peer war against an enemy that can… Read more »

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Jonathan I understand the advantages of aircraft-carriers – and also some of their disadvantages in comparison to airbases (like lower sortie generation, aircraft performance penalties – and vulnerability of the ship to nuclear-powered attack subs, and supersonic anti-shipping missiles). In the UK we also have agile diplomats, so basing rights has never been an issue; neither can I remember any occasion when operations to UK warplanes has been disrupted through airfield denial. Although I do remember during the Falklands campaign, when the few Exocet missiles, and iron bombs of the Argentinian air-forces, pushed the Hermes & Invincible far from San… Read more »

farouk
Guest
farouk

Mr Bell wrote: The RAF wants the cheaper but less adaptable F35A. I’m intrigued? In what way is the longer ranged, faster, fitted with an internal cannon )(As opposed to the pod the ‘B’ has to carry) and able to carry bigger and heavier weapon loads ‘A’ variant less adaptable. Point to note, the Royal Engineers used to practice building Harrier hides using a huge rubber mat as the base for the landing pad. This gave us the ability to hide Harriers anywhere we wanted to. The F-35B due to its excessive hot exhaust would melt that rubber pad in… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) farouk – Within the closed F-35 debate there is no doubt the F-35A is more capable in range and payload than the F-35B. But that aircraft is far more adapatable and gives the Uk carrier strike at very low cost and risk. However the real debate is why buy F-35A when we have the Typhoon bomb truck and best QRA fighter which can combine with the F-35B in suppression and sensor roles? The corollary of that is the F-35A cannot in any way match the Typhoon in those core capabilities – speed, supercruise, weapon load, QRA, Interceptor etc.… Read more »

Rob Collinson
Guest
Rob Collinson

Couldn’t agree any more. Well said. We now need to sort refuelling the B’s flying from the carriers.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

The scenes if one makes a crash landing and Iran gets its mitts on it. The US would have to bomb the place into the stone age pretty quickly.

Helions
Guest
Helions

Knowing the Israelis I wouldn’t be surprised if pulling the ejector lever also activates a large self destruct charge in the sequence as well – say 2 seconds after seat ignition…

Cheers.

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

The F35 project has been long and painful existence. My initial enthusiasm for the project back in the early 2000s was replaced by scepticism as the project missed many performance, budgetary and time targets. No doubt if we could go back and restart the the project a different route would be taken. But I can honestly say the F35, in my humble opinion, is going to be an outstanding combat aircraft that will dominate the skies for decades to come. We seem to have no end of positive reports on the F35. I sincerely hope the UK does order it’s… Read more »

yaldy
Guest
yaldy

Reckon the Israelis want the aircraft “combat proven” before things with Iran really kick off? I imagine that introducing the F35 early is a show of force to Iran in itself. What do the Iranians fly these days?

I know it is always the case, but the Middle East really is on the brink of something exceptionally damaging just now.

Expat
Guest
Expat

One for the critics, clearly valuable asset and you really have to wonder if the any of the parties in Syria knew these were flying.

I do wonder though if there’s a missing variant, the F35D (STOSRVL). Uses the F35C’s larger wings with smaller lift fan that gives more range, large weapons bay and load. ?

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

There was a proposed D variant, the body of F35A and the wings of F35C. Came to nothing.

Also a E variant was talked about this being a dedicated electronic warfare type, similar to the F18G. Again nothing.

Expat
Guest
Expat

I suspect because although the airframes were supposed to have large amount of commonality this is not the reality. This is also why the UK will not have As and Bs as there no real commonality benefit.

Helions
Guest
Helions
Sceptical Richard
Guest
Sceptical Richard

Thanks Helions!

Felix Sears
Guest
Felix Sears

The electronic warfare variant has been asked for by us navy/ marines. IAI are Developing a two seater as well.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Surely the most important aspect of commonality isn’t the airframe, wings etc, but the combat system and electronics, which are common to all variants. The range aspect is not relevant – the F35A would still need multiple refuelings to fly from the UK, just like the Typhoon and Tornado. In this regard, choosing the ‘C’ variant with its greater fuel load would make greater sense! Basing the F35B on carriers and moving them closer to the area of operation nullifies the range penalty and increases the sortie rate exponentially.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Steve, “Basing the F35B on carriers and moving them closer to the area of operation nullifies the range penalty and increases the sortie rate exponentially”. Sounds great from the comfort of an arm-chair. But in extremis, that’s not what British Admirals do. If there is a threat to the carrier, they move them away from the danger area – not closer. They trade-off increased attack-range of their aircraft for the security of the carrier. And quite right too! This isn’t a hypothetical argument, it’s exactly what Woodward did during the Falkland campaign of 1982 – and arguably, Argentina was… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Steve – ive advocated before on here and elsewhere that the MOD could be cute in considering the ‘C’ variant.When tests were done on the ‘A’ under high g manoeuvers it was prone to Airframe twist which affected the Engine, causing some rotor blades to foul the outer casing.As the ‘C’ is built with a strengthened Airframe to cope with Carrier launch and Recovery it doesn’t suffer from this problem.Im no expert in aircraft construction but if the ‘C’ was operated in the more benign environment of conventional Runways I would expect in the least less maintenance and a higher… Read more »

farouk
Guest
farouk

Slightly off topic, the Drive (warzone) have knocked out an article on what we would be getting if the other fellow (F-32) had won the competition:
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/20971/this-is-what-a-boeing-f-32-wouldve-looked-like-if-lockheed-lost-the-jsf-competition

BB85
Guest
BB85

It certainly looks a lot better than the original x32. Maybe the competition came too quickly for them. From memory they where a long way off the x35 in the competition though. It would be interesting to see if they improved the stovsl version would the a and b variety have been closer in range and performance since the UK does not plan to land the f35 unless it’s necessary.

farouk
Guest
farouk

The RAF should be knocking on the door of the IDF regards information on how the F35 worked in an hostile environment Thus allowing us to ensure that our F35s when needed worked to the best they can. To that end have a butchers at this photo of an Aircraft hanger which was hit by Israeli Small diameter bombs the other week. Talk about accurate overkill:
https://twitter.com/border9999/status/997780060835893249

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

farouk – agree,i posted something similar on another thread.The F35 programme is a huge investment for all the nations involved with its development.It would be a travesty if those said nations wouldn’t want to know how the F35 performed in actual combat.I wouldn’t think for a moment that any data etc would likely be shared on an official basis but any unofficial channels,snippets of information released to the media etc would surely give away some clues.

Sceptical Richard
Guest
Sceptical Richard

Farouk, I would be very surprised if all F35 users were not sharing operational experience already!

Steve
Guest
Steve

I wonder where the idf sits power wise. I suspect it you have Britain at one end and USA at the other end of a line, they would be much closer to the US side of the line.

Hopefully one day they will push for peace in the region, rather then constant conflict, but I doubt it will ever happen, sincs history tells us that superpowers only go for peace when they are broke. Just look at the mess in southern America, heavily caused by the US interfering constantly to ensure they control the region.

Joe
Guest
Joe

The tiny sliver of liberal democracy among the ocean of islamist hate…. yep… its all THEIR fault.

Good grief.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Joe – Less of the bullshit please? Just for the record Israel is not the sole, and therefore not a ‘sliver’ of democracy in the Middle East. And if you think Israel is in any way ‘liberal’ we are reading different dictionaries. Jordan to the East: A Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy. A system the UK and other Commonwealth countries have developed over centuries. Egypt to the South: A Semi- Unitary Republic. Turkey to the North: A Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Republic And once you take off your anti-Islamic blinkers you will find in fact it IS Israel’s fault. They… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

The IDF are not on a “line” with our boys and girls and likewise the Americans.

The IDF sits on a line with some African Nations military, Burmese military and a few others, Yano the ones that shoot civilians in the back and use children on bikes as target practice for snipers.

Watched a video the other night of the IDF attacking paramedics trying to get to a Palestinian teenager who’d been shot in the legs. Horrible to watch.

farouk
Guest
farouk

SS wrote: The IDF are not on a “line” with our boys and girls and likewise the Americans. Actually the IDF are very good, especially their teeth arms, yes they have some slackers, but you find them across the UK and US armed forces. The difference we have to remember regards the IDF is the vast majority of its personnel (male and female) are conscripts (around 30 months). The regular element are very trained and then there is the reserve element. Whilst a few of the conscripts may have rightwing leanings, (Just like any sample of a first world nation)… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Can’t argue with your first two paragraphs, fair points. “I noticed your dig at the ones who shoot civilians in the back. Its something I find so many ill informed people use in which to try and claim the moral high-ground. For example Hamas have admitted on Gaza TV (I will link this in) that of the 62 people shot last Thursday 50 belonged to them.” Believe me I’m not ill informed, and no-one is taking the moral high ground, so 50 of them belonged to Hamas? so what, who is Hamas? who told you they are terrorists? your government?… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) – SoleSurvivor – Can I gently point out that the only role of the British in Palestine was that of Mandated Protecting Power. A position declared by International agreement in the ’20s. The British had nothing to do with the Zionist terrorists at all and had many personnel murdered by them. 746 service people died protecting innocent Palestinians against those US funded terrorists. So can I ask you to retract that part of what was otherwise an excellent post. As for the Balfour declaration that is often misquoted so can I remind you of the critical part :… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Hi Chris, perhaps I laid the blame a little too much on Britain in my comment. But my opinion is still that the British betrayal of Lawrence of Arabia and the arabs at the end of ww1 in the Sykes-picot agreement and the Balfour declaration as the main causes of problems in the Middle East to this day. The Balfour declaration gave the zionist movement what they needed, the jewish political groups in Palestines main objective before the Balfour declaration was just jewish representatives in government, they even admitted an arab led Palestine would not be a problem as long… Read more »

farouk
Guest
farouk

SS wrote:
Watched a video the other night of the IDF attacking paramedics trying to get to a Palestinian teenager who’d been shot in the legs. Horrible to watch.

Was that the one where a knifeman had just stabbed a soldier and the army initially kept back people as he was wearing a suicide vest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-zVHbKBhXY

farouk
Guest
farouk

And here’s a much shorter version but much better quality of the above.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N6rxAPrbz4

Funny how the ambulance arrived so quickly and how ready the camera men were regards filming the attack.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

No it was not that one, can’t post link on here it gets moderated all the time.

Plenty of videos if you look in the right place, and the “israelfulltruth’ youtube channel is not one of them.

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

The IDF is not pushing for conflict. Israel has tried to make peace repeatedly. Even offered multiple compromises, however has always been met with nothing but terrorism. From so called civilians who when they sneak across the fences stab families sitting down for dinner to death, gun down police even if they are also Muslim merely because they are Israelis and where the uniform of a policeman or soldier. South America is the fault of Euro trash and Communists not the United States. American interventions were to enforce the Monroe Doctrine of no outside intervention or to halt communism and… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

isreal loves to play the victim to get the US popular vote, to avoid some questions like why are they illegally occupying areas (international law) and why is no country questioning it. Russia did it in Ukraine and there was international up raw. Isreal hasn’t been under serious threat of invasion in 60 years, and yet they keep playing that card. The middle eastern problems are far far too complicated and making isreal a super power / regional bully is not helping. As is the US blindly supporting them, because of the votes in it. If they really wanted peace… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Steve – at the back end of the Bill Clinton Presidency much effort was put into a lasting peace settlement.Ehud Barak put together a package that made so many compromises in regards to settlements,the status of Jerusalem and possible solutions for the ‘returnees’ that he himself felt his political career and even his life were in severe danger should it be acceptable to the Palestinians.Yasser Arafat’s response on the other hand was to reject the offer made – arguably the best offer they were likely to get for a long time if not forever.He even admitted that any Palestinian Leader… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Paul T

Gemal Helal who was an influential State Department advisor who translated for President Clinton also said “What the Palestinians were offered, no Arab leader could accept.”

There is a book called “The Truth About Camp David” by Clayton Swishers, a very good read.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) SoleSurvivor – while we may disagree strenuously on many things on this matter I stand full square with you. Israel’s creation by the US funded Zionist terrorist gangs, its stabbing in the back of its British ally and the shipping in of hundreds of thousands of Europeans was wrong by any measure and the only justification is some book written 2,000 years ago. Allegedly. It was ethnic cleansing before we invented term for the Balkans – Arab Muslims replaced en masse with European Jews. Israel is therefore only ‘surrounded by enemies’ because they took their lands, nation, businesses,… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Good comment Chris, we do agree on this.

A quick word on Elliot below, our engagements might get a little “hairy” at times because we are both passionate in what we believe.

But Elliot below is a typical Youtube poster, he insults in every debate and lives in a complete bubble detached from the real world.

A person who doesn’t believe in international law speaks volumes for the backward, deluded and stupid views he obviously has.

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

Settlements are NOT illegal. They are merely disputed by Euro and Arab countries. If the US accepted European objections as to illegalities it would not exist neither would Latin and South America. Arab countries objections? They reject Israel’s right to exist and routinely call America the great Satan. Not exactly the place to go for legal objectivity. In your view the IDF being good at their job and Americans being loyal allies is bad? Because it reduces Israeli casualties and therefore the will to negotiate? You obviously have NOT been to the Balkans, mutual heavy casualties do not lead to… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Elliott – true to form you proffer abuse and insults to calm discussion. We have this: “South America is the fault of Euro trash and Communists not the United States” Not sure what South America has to do with a discussion about Israel but hey any opening for the dumb ‘Eurotrash’ shit eh Elliott? And then this utterly dumb gem: “Settlements are NOT illegal. They are merely disputed by Euro and Arab countries” Ooh a sneaky dig at us Eurotrash Elliott? No it is an indisputable fact that they are most definitely illegal under International Law and UN… Read more »

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

1. South America brought up by Steve, correction was therefore addressed. 2. Law needs sovereignty to be valid.That means passage and then enforcement by the Constitutionally empowered branches of government. 3. For the United States this would mean passage by 2/3 majority in both Houses of Congress and the signature by the President. The Senate and the President agreeing to give over the sovereign power of the US to foreigners for whom the American people hold little regard. 4. In Israel this would mean passage through the Kenesset. You can continue hopping around and gesticulating wildly like Yosemite Sam while… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Elliott – Another fine example of diversion and misrepresentation. True to form Elliott. Regarding International Law I realise that Americans believe the USA is ‘The World’ but some of us live in a global world. We have rules and laws to make everything work. Like the WTO with trade and the UN with International affairs. We also have International Courts to try war criminals and war crimes. Places where Netenyahu should be if I had my way. Now nowhere have I or anyone else suggested “the President agreeing to give over the sovereign power of the US to… Read more »

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

America is not and never has been a part of the ICC. When the State Department suggested joining it not only did the Senate reject it. They responded by passing the American Service-Members Protection Act which not only forbids ANY government allied or not to hand over American Military and Government authorities to The Hague. The Act both empowers and REQUIRES the President to use what ever means to obtain their release to include the use of military on allied states. Hence the nicknames the law acquired, “Bomb The Hague Act and Hague Invasion Act,” being among the more entertaining.That… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Elliot you sound like a complete moron.

“Well God gave us cluster bombs, bullets, and tanks to secure liberty for ourselves and our posterity”

You’re embarrassing yourself mate.

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

Hmmm knife wielding fanatics and suicide bombers vs the IDF and the Armed Forces of the United States. The only ones coming off as sounding a few fries short of a happy meal are the people who bet against Americans and Israelis in favor of terrorists.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

No one is betting against anybody, only in your little mind is this happening.

People have an opinion and a view which is completely valid.

Take your “America against the whole world” imagination and go comment on YouTube or some forum for nutcases.

You’re on a British website making a complete fool out yourself.

It’s sad to see.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Really enjoy reading all the informed comment in the UKDJ. It should be required reading for our politicians!!

trackback

[…] assets inside Syria, and a photo of an Israeli F-35 over Beirut supports that conclusion. The fourth link, from the British media, asserts Israel has used the F-35 in missions inside both Syria and […]